In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful
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America’s Perception of Muslims Needs to Change

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By Dr. Zahid Bukhari, President, Islamic Circle of North America
As a Muslim American, I strongly condemn the atrocious attacks on the diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which resulted in the murder of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, and the continued violence throughout the Middle East. Contrary to the images that have been replicated around the world, Islam is a religion of peace and does not justify attacks against innocent people.

As this violence proliferates abroad we must ask ourselves a question: How is this affecting the image of millions of Muslim Americans who live here in the U.S.? The American public continues to view Islam through two basic lenses: First, there is the 9/11 lens that brings to mind images of religious fanatics and terrorism, and second, the disrespect to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) lens, in which communities throughout the Middle East have responded violently to parodies or insults of the Prophet.

The American public needs to better understand the Islamic faith and what it stands for by getting to know their Muslim neighbors, approximately 7 million of whom live in the United States. If they did, they might realize that the Islamic faith prohibits any Muslim from criticizing or making fun of any other religious figure such as Jesus, Buddha or Moses.

Like Jews, Christians and Hindus, the vast majority of Muslims in the world practice their faith peacefully while devoting their lives to worshipping God. No practicing Muslim would advocate violence in any form in response to cartoons or films, no matter how offensive. What is important to note here is that the fundamental elements of our faith are grounded in the belief and respect of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and an insult on his noble personality is injurious to more than 1.5 billion Muslims across the globe. Images of terrorists and extremists are being used by politicians and hate groups alike to misrepresent Muslims and propagate religious intolerance.

All good Muslims live their lives in accordance with The Prophet, who was known for his nonviolent compassion, even when he was faced with mobs that threw trash on him. According to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, when garbage was thrown on him as a sign of disrespect, he did not fight back. In fact he prayed for the recovery of a sick woman who was known to have been throwing garbage on his path.

It is incumbent on Muslim Americans who live in this country to correct the myths and educate our fellow citizens about who we are and what we stand for. Muslim Americans respectfully uphold the United States Constitution which guarantees the rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, which enables every citizen to practice his or her faith freely.

Those who take offense to the film, as I do, should follow the examples of another Prophet, Jesus Christ, who is revered and respected in the Quran. Jesus practiced humility and kindness even as he was faced with those who wished harm upon him, as Prophet Muhammad did.

Let’s not forget that a handful of religious extremists here in the U.S. produced and disseminated this film, provoking religious extremists abroad. At the end of the day extremism is our enemy. A great American, Dr. Martin Luther King, once said, “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.”

Hate undermines the righteousness of our cause. Muslim Americans are devout in their faith toward God and at the same time they are good citizens who believe in and are willing to defend America and its freedoms.

In response to the recent rise in anti-Muslim hate groups and the demonization of Muslims in the media, the Islamic Circle of North America has embarked on an Islamic education campaign to explain our faith to the American public. The ongoing campaign is traveling to 36 cities with billboards, PSAs, town hall meetings, college campus seminars and a 24-hour hotline inviting people to ask questions about Islam and engage in positive discourse.

We still have a long way to go, and the violent protests in the Middle East only reinforce the need for Muslim Americans to reach out and talk to their neighbors. Our American community needs to address the elephant in the room which is that millions of Americans are being discriminated against, simply because of the God they choose to worship.

To make matters worse, extremists in the United States continue to prey on American’s Islamophobic fears for personal and political gain. As a result, we are calling on members of our Muslim community and on our fellow Americans to stand together and defend our right to religious freedom as citizens of the United States of America and as guaranteed by our Constitution.

Article Courtesy: Huffington Post


  • Tanya Aziz via Facebook

    And the Koch’s need to stop financing the fear.

  • Dean Uncle-Ruckus Cranswick via Facebook


  • abdul basit malik

    you have given examples of prophets life in makka . After that when sora hujrat came , it was even said by ALLAH to the muslims , as not to be loud , may be their disrespecting attitude will destroy all their deeds . So respect of the HOLY PROPHET is part of our eeman and any disrespecting act pinches us too much , .what is hurt ? a trauma , physical or psychological which is giving pain , is hurt in usa there are rules and courts for such hurts , and if a persons act is hurting 1`5 billion ppl , there is no rule to contain him right of freedom of speech does not allow me to abuse you if one abuses the other in usa , does it comes under act of freedom of speech ? what is abuse ? an insulting word purposely said for hurting the others?there comes law to stop it / if there is no law ? people will go fighting and killing each other just for an abuse . what we muslims are saying to usa they must make a law for such bad acts which is more than an abuse to a muslim to disrespect our prophet .in absence of such law muslims want to kill such person by them and they kill or hurt americans as symbols of such a state who is protecting thes people , now who is the beginner ? muslims or the person who makes movie ? this is not so simple there is war mafi behind this who wanted to make justification of their killings in iraq afghanistan pakistan and tell americans that all muslims are terrorist / , lets see what happens ?

  • Hafiz Abdul Basit Malik via Facebook

    the act of movie was to provoke muslims responce and to tell americans that all muslims are violent so kill violents in iraq afghanistan and pakistan by drones is justified this is game of war lords , weapon manfacturers

  • Jason

    With all respects, i wish to know how and when the Muslim community will handle this extremism. I don’t care what governments and nations plan to do, i want to know what muslims plan to do. I think must people would like to have a different opinion. It just seems there is a lot of emphasis on separation from the situation, i.e. “they aren’t real practicing muslims”. Try telling extremists that. They think the same way about you. If you aren’t fighting you’re not a real Muslim. Only politicians care if you condemn attacks, the rest of us want to know what you plan to do about it.

  • Mushtaq Hussain via Facebook


  • tim

    I think all Muslims should be erraticated as stated by my God in the old testament. They are the devil in disguise! Try to push your pathetic religion on the world . If it was a good religion you would have the support of God’ witch you do not. God ordered all of you destroyed without mercy. But they failed God and Islam we allowed to exist. Now we have to deal with Muslim garbage destroying this planet. I will vow to uphold Gods will and destroy Islam and e pose it for the scum that it is! God bless!

  • Nur Mich

    Now that I have said that, look into history and see what other cultures have left as legacy on this little pebble floating through space. Odd, isn’t it, that humans are at war with themselves, but most of the other living creatures seem to exist peacefully, just trying to survive winter? God, I hate humans.

  • countrynewsman

    Dr. Bukhari, your writing is frankly offensive to me. Rather than the American Muslims educating us, how about you educate American Muslims? Why have we seen no large protests from your millions of “peaceful” Muslims against the radicals who terrorize so many? I submit their silence is tantamount to approval of what is happening. Further, you are wanting to force Sharia law on us, much like what you are doing in France right now. Look at the violence in that country! We have our own laws in the United States and do NOT want your sharia laws.

  • steve

    I think that any non ignorant, non Muslim American, knows that the majority of Muslims do not support these kinds of attacks but unfair or not I think Muslim Americans need to get out in numbers and show that they disapprove of this behavior publically and together. You state No practicing Muslim would advocate violence in any form but every act of violence whether it be in the US or around the world is claimed to be in the name of Islam. Again, any non ignorant person knows this is not the case, but when you hear it so many times and see so many people die many people start to believe it. I know its not fair that your community should have to go out and protest something you obviously are not supporters of or have any connection to but In my opinion until large numbers of US Muslims get together to protest violence in the name of Islam, this stereotype will continue to grow.

  • Monty

    Muslims are Garbage, Refuse from an another era that is incompatible with modern Humanity, where individual freedom, Trumps that of Religios Dictates!

  • Vlad Tepes

    You just do not seem to understand. Your unwelcome,unwanted and never will be embraced. We hate you. go back to where you came from. No one cares how you feel or about your child molesting prophet who could not even write his own name. Frankly the tide is turning and soon it will be the blood of your women and children running in the streets for a change. get out while you can scum. your days are numbered.

  • Ggrieser

    Muslims just need to keep their mouths shut and obey the laws of the countries they pollute. Just another dumb American Muslim who doesn’t understand their religion.

  • Ggrieser

    Not to mention muslims lie to advance their agenda anyway. Shut up, enjoy your religious freedom granted to you by a superior modern society. Arrogant moron, haha “everyone else needs to learn”. Yes, you’re being discriminated against. Muslims are lucky they’re not considered enemies of the state for constantly trying to trump American law with their self absorbed idiocy.

  • imheretoteach

    Tim, first of all I think you need to get back to bagging groceries. all religions at one point were pushing their believes on people, yes that means Christianity as well as Islam. The difference is that at the beginning unlike Christians Muslims did not force everyone to covert or die. And what is this “support of god” that you’re talking about? Christians, Muslims, and Jews all believe in basically the same god. The only exceptions are that Jews did not see Jesus as the son of god, and Muslims did not see him as divine. This does not mean that they did not see Jesus as a prophet because they did. Another thing the destruction of our planet is caused by all humans dumbass, religion doesn’t play any part in that. I highly doubt that you know what “gods will” is, your mongoloid minded self probably has a hard time upholding a single though so I don’t know how you’re going to uphold anyone’s will. So please do the world a favor and close your mouth so that shit won’t spill out every time you open it.

  • grieser

    Islam needs to change. Then perception will follow. Arrogant idiot.

  • grieser

    Religion is inherently ignorant since its not based on reality. There’s nothing enlightened about any of them. And Islam is arrogant on top of ignorant. It’s no closer to God than murder, prostitution or anything else it hates. No, nobody needs change their perception of this cancer on humanity. It’s nonsense for losers, and American Muslims are the dumbest anywhere. Nobody should have to deal with this evil backwater nonsense.

  • grieser

    Dr Bukhari thinks he really has his finger on the pulse of existence, …through the arrogant sixth century ramblings of a narcissistic, God wanna be warlord. Nobody would be a Muslim if they were required to keep their faith to themselves. It spreads through the loser males of any given society and is forced on weak minded women. It can’t handle any type of criticism and it ruins entire societies. I’d say Muslims are the weakest minds on the planet today. Like somehow Islam will conquer the world and everyone will be a good Muslim. What a joke.

  • Goat man

    “Islam is a religion of peace and does not justify attacks against innocent people” the problem with that is…who is innocent? The people who oppose your sharia law are not innocent to you-your people are not interested in mingling into a existing population. Your people seek to destroy culture of countries you invade-basically you suck-and only the weak pathetic politically correct far left weirdos will protect your views- and they are a dying beast. you will lose in America bc we are bad asses and y’all are weak

  • Rohger

    Yeah well let’s see what the French might say about “peaceful” muslims.

  • Rick

    What a joke. Muslims need to take back their so called peaceful religion before 21st century thinking people turn the entire Middle East into a giant glass parking lot.

  • SuperMichael

    Imheretoteach Perhaps you better sit down learn something first if you want to teach. And if you are going to call out a Christian that wants to eliminate a Islam because they see everyday in the news the cancer of Islamism and Jihad has murdered more innocent people please don’t lie and pretend like Islam has nothing to do with it. They don’t believe you. They think you are a useful idiot because you are. Of course Islam has something to do with this death cult. The adults are going to acknowledge there is a death cult within Islam and we are not going to pretend that by acknowledging this that millions of Muslims will decide to take a Jihad against the West because if that were true then cancer within Islam is far worst than we all imagined and Tim is absolutely right there is no realistic other option than the abolishment of Islam through force. However I don’t think that is the case because once we recognize that Islamism is the problem and we understand how people are radicalized and recruited so we can target the problem at the source. Once Muslims in the west and around the world recognize that Islamism ( the ideology that promotes forcing any version of Islam upon society) cannot be tolerated in the civilized world only then do we start to eradicate the problem. We have to make the idea of imposing your religious views upon society extremely taboo. As for ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban, well, we have to send them to Hell because there is no coming back for them. At moment the problem is that too many Muslims have this tribal attitude of us versus them. They too often protect the faith and other Muslims from Western criticism even when the actions of the other Muslim are absolute unconscionable. They will shut down conversation by accusing us of Islamophobia and force us to blame the game of saying “of course, I’m not saying that all Muslim are bad”, which should be a given. This is the main problem they still trying to protect themselves from criticism instead they should be criticizing those that try to impose their beliefs and saying we have no right in civilized society to impose our beliefs on others. Additionally they are still trying to white wash their history and they have this victim mentality which leads to a grievance mentality which leads to angry young Muslim that are recruited up like whores to a pimp for a life of Jihad. It’s really not that complicated. Muslims need to lose the victim mentality, stop insulating themselves from criticism, and acknowledge the problem of violence Jihad and make Islamism ideology extremely taboo within their own culture.

  • dusti hutchins

    I refuse to be offensive like these other Americans I understand Muslims are being betrayed wrongly but I don’t understand why they won’t fight and speak up against the radicals. America got where it is by standing its ground and fighting for freedom why won’t you people do the same. If every peaceful Muslim stood up against the extremist the country can be safe and peaceful I just don’t understand why that hasn’t happened